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The Strategy of Breaking through “Identity Politics” among Korean Youth


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Other Title
  • アイデンティティ・ポリティクス超克の<戦術>
  • アイデンティティ・ポリティクスの超克<戦術>--在日朝鮮人の子ども会活動の事例から
  • アイデンティティ ポリティクス ノ チョウコク センジュツ ザイニチ チョウセ
  • 在日朝鮮人の子ども会活動の事例から
  • Case Study of One Korean Children's Group and Its Participants

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A purpose of the study is to search for breakthrough of "dentity politics" around Koreans in Japan by shedding light on ethnic identities of Korean youths.<br> In 1945, toward the end of the World War 2, as many as 2,400,000 Koreans resided in the mainland Japan as "Japanese." No sooner had the War ended than they embarked the education for their children on their own right. They organized schools using their language and transmitting ethnic culture to children. But G.H.Q. and Japanese Government regarded their movement as harmful to the social and political order in Japanese society, and began to suppress Koreans' educational movement.Until now, Koreans have been under siege of the pressure of assimilation, and their ethnic education has been marginalized in Japanese educational system. Under the circumstance," identity politics," which regards the ethnic tradition as essential for their identity, developed in opposition to assimilation. It functioned as resistance and liberation in the first stage, but sooner or later became oppressive to diverse existence inside the society of Koreans. It began to suffer from the dilemma between "resistance to dominant culture in Japan" and "oppression to diverse self-realization of Koreans." For instance, as Jung Yeong-hae points out, traditional culture of Koreans are patriarchal and in the connection their ethnic identity contains sexual discrimination. For Korean women, having ethnic identity entails putting oppression on the part of female identity.<br> Various kinds of such contradictions besides female identity have come up to the surface these days, and de-construction toward ethnic identity of Koreans was getting to be attempted on both theoretical and practical sides. Identity discourse of Koreans is no more monotonous than before, multiple enterprises of definition of identity are made today. Those enterprises were sought in the case of a children's group.<br> The research was done in Takatuki-city, Osaka, where children's group of Koreans was organized by the school board of the city in order to foster ethnic identity and transmit ethnic culture among Korean children and youths. I asked questions to some children involving with the group and Korean youths taking direction of the group. Based on the interview with them, the state of identity dilemma is described, and the possibility of breakthrough of "identity politics" is discussed.



    SOSHIOROJI 42 (3), 37-54,182, 1998


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